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Warner Bros.' 'Green Lantern' marketing campaign delayed by special-effects work

GreenLantern Less than three months before it hits theaters, "Green Lantern" is missing something critical: a marketing campaign.

"Green Lantern" is easily Warner Bros.' riskiest bet of the year: its first attempt to mine the DC Comics' library -- beyond the well-known Batman and Superman characters -- for a big-budget summer tentpole. The picture cost more than $200 million to produce before the benefit of tax credits in Louisiana where it was shot, according to people familiar with the matter.

It's a key part of the strategy by Jeff Robinov, Warner Bros. motion picture group president, to replace the multibillion-dollar "Harry Potter" series. Robinov was profiled in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times as he assumes "greenlight" authority at Hollywood's biggest studio.

But beyond an early trailer released last November that studio executives acknowledged was poorly received by fans, there hasn't been any promotional material yet for "Green Lantern," which stars Ryan Reynolds. The reason: The movie's intricate 3-D visual effects, including numerous scenes set in space and featuring aliens, are taking longer than anticipated.

"We are on a learning curve in getting 3-D materials and marketing materials on the same schedule," Robinov said. The advertising campaign "has been delayed strictly from production."

Warner is finally showing new promotional material to exhibition executives at CinemaCon in Las Vegas this week and to fans at the WonderCon convention in San Francisco this weekend. It also plans to release a new trailer that will play with the Marvel superhero movie "Thor" in early May. Sue Kroll, the studio's worldwide marketing president, said she was confident the reaction would be different than it was for the teaser trailer in November.

"Part of the reason the response to the first trailer was lukewarm was that the big-scale sequences weren't ready to show, and we suffered for it," she said. "We can't afford to do that again."

Robinov said Warner Bros. had learned its lesson the hard way on aligning its production and marketing schedules for special-effects-heavy 3-D tentpole films. "We won't be in this position again," he said.

He also said he wasn't worried about the movie's ultimate success or the fact that Warner is covering the entire budget itself without a financial partner, as is increasingly common for big-budget pictures in Hollywood. Just as the studio has done with the hugely profitable "Harry Potter" series, Robinov said he wanted Warner Bros. to own 100% of as many DC movies going forward as possible.

-- Ben Fritz

Related:

Warner Bros.' "misunderstood" executive Jeff Robinov to enter spotlight

Hero Complex: Warner chief sets sights on "Justice League" film and reinventing Batman

Photo: Ryan Reynolds in "Green Lantern. Credit: Warner Bros.

 
Comments () | Archives (13)

The lukewarm trailer response was because Ryan Reynolds was playing Ryan Reynolds and not Hal Jordan. And the suit sucked.

Yes, WB sets the production schedule, the scope of the work, the approvals, the budgets and the marketing needs and due dates, but it's the *effects companies* who are making it late.

Uh-huh....

If I had a dollar for every arbitrary marketing request, last-minute trailer schedule and unrealistic due date imposed by an ignorant studio, I could finance Green Lantern myself.

But I'm sure it's all the effects companies' faults.

Wow, Im truly impressed with Jeff Robinov's remarks, he actually sounds intelligent. Most suits are vision-less parasites that actually know nothing about what they are making in Hollywood. They act like they understand why something like Avatar or Titanic are successful but when they apply the "formula" are left wondering what went wrong with their versions.

Im looking forward to Green Lantern, I have read the script and it is great. However "Suits" can ruin anything. The current "formula" at Warner is that "The Dark Knight" is the end all be all and make all comic adaptations dark like that. WRONG. Its refreshing to read these comments.

Robinov, in the event that your comic book movies dont reach the level of success your looking for, you already own the rights to a potentially HUGE franchise. One that could easily rival Harry Potter.... Robotech

Let the fanboy tizzy-fit begin!

Who cares if the marketing campaign is launched only 30 days before the film. People who are already GL fans will go regardless, and non-GL fans will see the trailer in May and the TV ads up to the release date and get interested.

Fanboys will make too much of this, because that is what they do.

I don't think the lack of a marketing campaign is the big problem . . . yet. If the movie were a single month off, I'd be worried.

What worries me more is that trying to rush to get massive special effects done at the last minute is a great recipe for ballooning production costs. That could doom "The Green Lantern" if the resulting box office sales were anything other than excellent.

That is the lamest excuse. It hasn't stopped ALL the other CGI VFX intense summer blockbusters from marketing their films. My money is that the first trailer was not received well and they've been scrambling since to avoid another "Sucker Punch" debacle.

However it is true. Sony Imageworks work is subpar. WB should have gone with ILM, Weta, or Framestore for their summer tent pole film.

So, all those dailies meetings where the director said he wouldn't commit to any effects shots until talking to the DOP and Prod Designer were also the fault of the effects artists?? What about the request for marketing shots that came
in less than 30 days ago??? Or all the 8 hour days wasted during the first half of the post schedule so that the artists could spend 12-14hr days catching up and then addingthe marketing requests on top... Now that they have decided to request...

It's about time Hollywood fired a Director for not making a decision... Then you'd see some production savings and we may get something other than spiderman 17 staring Toby' grand child...

Let's put the blame where it is - at the top!

i wonder if this will have any influence on as to whether or not GL2 gets greenlight based on the GL box office #s

Inside the industry, Warner Brothers is know as a complete screw up when it comes to visual effects. I don't know where they find the executive 'talent' to run their fx operation, but just look at the failures...Clash of the Titans...Splice...Cats & Dogs the Sequel...Sucker Punch and now Green Lantern...

"He also said he wasn't worried about the movie's ultimate success" is a statement i dont get,does it mean he is 100% confident about the films success or he doesnt care about the films success,coz if it is the latter its a very bad attitude to have for a big studio person.

n he should care bout GL success coz after this year there is no harry potter to save them and if these prominenet solo comic book movies don't do well it is big trouble for them.

I'm suprised at his attitude.

This thing reeks of sucking. It looks like a video game. I like Green Lantern and enjoy Goeff Johns writing him. But that trailer was grotesque. I agree with Hal in that WB is holding back and not wanting another Sucker Punch scenario. Just studio spin. If the tone in the first trailer was accurate for what they were going for in the film, then they should have gone with Kyle Rayner as GL instead of Hal Jordan. They are casting, or recasting Kilowag. This looks really bad. I think this will be a hit on curiosity alone, but not a big hit. I hope it is because WB needs to expand it's stable of characters. The world does NOT NEED another Batman film for at least twenty years!!! So I hope this thing warrants a sequel, and lessons learned for a great FLASH and WONDER WOMAN movie.


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